Inside the Center for Advanced Visual Studies Special Collection.

Center for Advanced Visual Studies Special Collection

1967 – 2009

View the collection finding aid

About the CAVS Special Collection

The Center for Advanced Visual Studies Special Collection (CAVSSC) is the repository of a nearly 45 year history of collaborative and time-based productions generated by or related to the tenure of over 200 internationally recognized artist-fellows.  The collection includes photos, books, posters, documents, portfolios, films, videos and audio tapes of great historical significance.

The materials include hundreds of moving images in various time based media, over 200 posters and artists’ prints, 1000+ photographs, and over 130 feet of documents including artists’ notes, sketches, and correspondence. Materials concern the processes and productions of notable artists such as György Kepes, Aldo Tambellini, Stan van der Beek, Charlotte Moorman, Antoni Muntadas, Nam June Paik, Otto Piene, Yvonne Rainer, Maryanne Amacher, Alan Sonfist, Takis, Jack Burnham, and more recently Krzysztof Wodiczko, Judith Barry, Damon Rich, John Malpede, Michael Smith, Fritz Haeg, Vito Acconci, Mel Chin, The Lost Highway Expedition and many more.

Digital Portal

A subset of digitized materials from the CAVS Special Collection have been made available on our experimental digital collection interface. Currently featuring images of works, the site also includes posters, academic course booklets from the Master of Science in Visual Studies (SMVisS) degree program, and publications from exhibitions. Click on the link below to browse images by artist, subject, or scroll through an ever changing collection of images.

Enter the CAVS Digital Collection Site here


For a brief overview of CAVS history, see Elizabeth Finch’s description.

In 2018 ACT celebrated the CAVS50 anniversary by developing exhibitions, events, an international symposium, and a publication, all intended to explore ideas that emerged from CAVS—art and the environment, art at the civic scale, and art as it relates to the future—in a contemporary context.


Collection Processing and Access

The CAVS Special Collection has undergone extensive processing since summer 2012. The collection was digitized and reference requests are served digitally via Dropbox. The collection may be browsed on request by appointment. Records containing certain personal information are restricted. Access granted to researchers does not imply permission to publish. See Policies page for details.

For inquiries on the use of images, video, and other materials, contact ACT’s Project Archivist.. See Policies page for access details.